Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Link

Blue Dragon has started a new program for street kids - The Link.

Over the last few months, we have been in contact with more and more kids who are out of school and aren't at all likely to go back. Most of these kids end up joining gangs that roam the streets at night, stealing and having fun.

These kids are all boys, and all from families that have been damaged one way or another. And some of them - I am tempted to say 'most of them' - are interested in getting back into a more regular kind of life, but all the doors are shut for them.

School is just not suitable for these kids. They're too restless, and need to be doing something hands on, with plenty of positive attention. Nobody wants these kids around - my neighbours glare at me daily just to remind me that they wish these kids would vanish off the face of the earth.

So, we've created The Link. It's a program of classes that are active, fun, and hands on; and most of all, the kids have ownership of what they're doing. So far there have been up to 7 boys each afternoon, and they've been doing art, mechanics, English, and cooking.

We don't have any money for this, so we're sharing the resources from our other activities at the drop in center. Lam, our education coordinator, is organising the teachers and the schedule; while Andrew, our amazing VIDA volunteer from Australia, is involved in most of the classes.

No big problems so far, although there are probably only 3 kids who so far 'own' this program. The others are still testing the waters, and have yet to make up their mind.

I'm optimistic, though. You just wouldn't believe the transformation they go through each afternoon, from being noisy and boisterous in the drop in center, to giving their full attention to the class when they head upstairs to study...

Some pics to show you what they've been up to!

No comments: